By Francis Wakefield
The Philippine Army’s first female brigade commander assumed the command of an engineer brigade at Camp Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City, on Tuesday, March 26.
Army Chief Lt. Gen. Macairog S. Alberto, who was the Presiding General Officer of the Change of Command ceremony of the 53rd Engineer (Visayas Builders) Brigade, turned over the command to Col. Joselyn R. Bandarlipe from Brig. Gen. Ramon Evan T. Ruiz.
Bandarlipe is currently the most senior female officer in the Army. Prior to her assumption, she served as Chief of Staff of the 53rd Engineer Brigade. She twice served as commanding officer, first of the 546th Engineer Construction Battalion in Borongan, Eastern Samar and again of the 514th Engineer Construction Battalion at Nasugbu, Batangas.
For her exemplary performance, she was adjudged as best battalion commander of the 53rd Engineer Brigade in 2006. Her other distinctions include the Outstanding Achievement Medal and four Distinguished Service Stars.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering before being commissioned in the Army, graduating as a member of Officer Candidate School Class 4 in 1990. To further hone her expertise, she took the Engineer Officer Advance Course at the Combat Support School and the Command and General Staff Course at the AFP Command and General Staff College.
She was one of the female tactical officers who trained the first batch of female cadets at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) starting in 1993.
The brigade is tasked to undertake construction projects in support of the Army’s Base Development Programs and assist in relief, rescue, and rehabilitation operations.
“Her extensive academic background in engineering combined with her leadership stints in several army engineer units including the 53rd Engineer Brigade where she last served as chief of staff make her an excellent choice to lead and guide the Visayas Builders,” Alberto said.
Army Spokesman and Public Affairs Chief Lt. Col. Ramon P. Zagala, said the Philippine Army selects the best officers who have displayed the highest standards of leadership and discipline to assume key positions of its various units all over the country.
“The Army has long provided equal opportunity to all its officers and enlisted personnel regardless of their gender and background, and will continue to train men and women who will bring the organization to world-class levels and become sources of pride to the nation,” Zagala said.